Do you offer consulting services or create info products? Or do you want a new job but don’t have any digital marketing certifications?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, why would anyone to hire me or learn about marketing from me?

Some customers need to see more than results – they want to see that you have had a formal education and training in your area of expertise.

Being labeled as certified can help you get customers, sell products, and even get a new job.

What You Will Learn

So how do you get certified in marketing without spending four years in college or racking up a $50k in student loans?

You get certified by recognized entities in the marketing industry!

In this post, you will learn.

  • What digital marketing certifications you can get online.
  • How to pass the exam in one or two tries even if you are not an expert in the topic.
  • Where to use your new digital marketing certification for optimal ROI.

Digital Marketing Certifications

The following are the best marketing certification programs you can gain to boost your credibility and reputation.

AMA Certified Professional Marketer

The American Marketing Association offers a Certified Professional Marketer program. To be eligible to take this exam, you must have a bachelor’s degree and four years of professional marketing experience, or a master’s degree and two years of professional marketing experience.

Once you have applied for this program, you will have 90 days to study the materials and pass the exam. The costs for the certification are as follows.

Application Fee: $74 USD
Training Materials & Exam: $650 USD
Additional Training Materials & Practice Exams: $225 USD

Your certification lasts for three years, during which you must acquire 40 additional hours of continued education in online marketing from online coursework, instructor-led classes, conferences, seminars, and research.

Bing Ads Certification

bing ads digital marketing certification

Bing offers search advertising training for Bing Ads Certification. It’s a free program for active Bing Ads users. Simply study the training material they provide and take the exam.

Once you are certified, you will receive an official badge, placement in the Bing Ads Pro directory, and a certificate.

Content Marketing Institute Online Training and Certification

Content Marketing Institute offers online training and certification for content marketers. Anyone can join, study the training materials, and take the exam when it is most convenient.

The costs for certification are as follows.

Annual Subscription: $995 USD

Once you study the training materials and pass the exam, you will be certified. The certification never expires, and you do not need to maintain your subscription unless you want to continue learning.

Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer

The Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer program is a part of the Copyblogger Authority membership. To apply for the certification program, you must be an Authority member and pay for the certification training course.

The program is only offered a few times per year.

The costs for this certification are as follows.

Annual Authority Membership: $399 USD
Certification Program: $495 USD

Once you have completed the training course, you become certified by submitting samples of your content. These samples are reviewed by Copyblogger. If approved, you will receive your certification, which never expires as long as you maintain your Authority membership.

You also get the chance to be listed in the Certified Content Marketer directory on the Copyblogger website and become eligible for master-level training on an invitation only basis.

DigitalMarketer Certified Content Marketing Specialist

digital marketer content certification

The DigitalMarketer Certified Content Marketing Specialist program is available to everyone. It is comprised of six modules of training, six quizzes, and one main exam.

The costs for this certification are as follows.

Course & Exam: $495 USD

You can retake the exam three times. If you don’t pass, you will need to re-take the course and take it again at no additional charge. Once you pass, you will receive a badge and certificate, plus recognition as a Certified Content Marketing Specialist.

DigitalMarketer also plans to offer seven additional certification programs for conversion optimization, customer acquisition, email marketing, funnel creation, social media, user experience, and video marketing.

DMA Certifications

Direct Marketing Association offers several certifications for marketers. The main certification, the DMA Certified Marketing Professional, covers all aspects of online marketing.

The specific topic certifications cover conversion optimization, internet marketing, mobile marketing, PPC, SEO, social media, and web analytics.

The costs for this certification are as follows.

DMA Certified Marketing Professional: $2,899 USD (18 months)
Specific Topic Certifications: $1,699 USD (90 days)

You will have either 18 months or 90 days (depending on the certification you choose) to study the training material and take the certification exam. Your certification is active for one year, after which you must demonstrate that you’ve taken ten units of continued education through their website.

Google AdWords Certification

Google Adwords marketing certifications

Google offers certification exams for individuals to become AdWords certified. To become Google AdWords certified, you must take the Google AdWords Fundamentals exam plus an additional exam on search, display, shopping, or video advertising.

While Google recommends that you have hands-on experience using Google AdWords, it is not required. You can review their study materials and take the exams for free. If you do not pass an exam, you can re-take it again in seven days.

Google Analytics Certification

google analytics certification

Google offers certification exams for individuals to become Analytics certified. To become Google Analytics certified, you must take the Google Analytics exam.

While Google recommends that you have hands-on experience using Google Analytics, it is not required. You can review their study materials and take the exam for free. If you do not pass, you can re-take it again in seven days.

HootSuite Certification

hootsuite digital marketing certification online

HootSuite offers a certification program for their product for social media managers and strategists. Anyone can sign up for the HootSuite University, review the course materials, and take the exam.

The costs for the HootSuite marketing certifications are as follows.

HootSuite University Membership & Exam: $21 USD per month

Once you pass the exam, your certification never expires. You will receive a badge and a listing in the HootSuite Social Media Consultants directory.

HootSuite Advanced Social Media Strategy Certificate

In addition to their platform certification, HootSuite partners with Newhouse School at Syracuse University to offer an Advanced Social Media Strategy Certificate. Anyone is eligible to take the course and exam to receive this certification.

The costs for this certification are as follows.

Course Tuition: $2,200 USD

The course is comprised of fifteen lessons and assessments. The main difference between this and the HootSuite certification is advanced level of training and independence from the HootSuite platform.

HubSpot Certifications

hubspot inbound certification

HubSpot offers several certifications. Everyone is eligible to take the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification course and exam for free. This program will help students demonstrate knowledge of inbound marketing practices, independent of their platform.

This certification is great for any online marketer as inbound marketing covers how to attract visitors, convert leads, close customers and delight customers into promoters.

HubSpot customers can get the HubSpot Certification and Contextual Marketing Certification. Partners can get the HubSpot Partners Certification, and developers can get the HubSpot Design Certification. While these courses and exams are free, the platform starts at $200 per month (paid annually).

Marketing Management Certificate

If you ever wanted to take classes from an Ivy League school, then this is your chance. Harvard offers a professional certificate in Marketing Management. To obtain this certificate, you must take four classes, all of which you can take online.

While you won’t be a Harvard alumni, you will have received a great certificate from a respected name in education.

The costs for this certification are as follows.

Application Fee: $50 USD
Four Courses: $8,800 USD

You must complete the four courses for this certificate within three years. There are no admission requirements to get this certificate.

W3Schools Certifications

w3school certificate

If you want to develop your skills in coding for the web, W3Schools offer several certifications that can help. These come in handy for marketers that offer website design, WordPress consultation, or similar information products or services.

W3Schools offer courses and exams for certification in HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, and XML.

The costs for these certifications are as follows.

Cost Per Language: $95 USD

You can register and study for as long as you like, then take the exam up to two times per language. You can take the exams alone or have a supervisor of your choosing proctor your exam.

Once you pass an exam, you will be W3Schools Certified in the language you chose as well as receive a badge and certificate.

How to Pass Digital Marketing Certification Exams

how to pass google analytics exam

Many of the above-mentioned programs allow you to get your certification after studying their training and taking an online exam. Most online exams are timed, but no one is watching you and how you get your answers unless it is specified as a proctored exam.

While you can’t pass any online exam without some basic knowledge on the topic, you don’t have to be an expert either.

Here are the keys to passing most of the online exams in one or two tries tops.

  • Review recommended training and educational content.
  • If you can take the exam more than once without any consequences, consider the first run a practice run.
  • Use ScreenFlow (or another screen recording program) to record your screen for later reference in case you don’t pass the first time. This is for your reference only – do not share it.
  • If you are allowed to go back to previous answers, go through the exam and answer everything you know off the top of your head as quickly as possible and return to other questions.
  • If there is no proctoring involved, keep text-based training materials (articles, slides, and transcripts) open in another browser or download and open on your computer. CTRL+F any questions you need clarification on using specific keywords.
  • If you don’t pass the first time, go through your recording and find the correct answers, or study them.
  • Once you feel confident, take the exam again.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to pass most of your certification exams, if not all of them, in one to two tries and get your certifications.

How to Use Your Digital Marketing Certifications

best marketing certifications for individuals

Once you gain certified status, you will want to make sure everyone knows it. Here are some ways to mention and use your certifications to ensure you get recognition.

  • Note if there are any restrictions on creating badges for your certifications. Google, for example, doesn’t give or allow you to create a Google Analytics Qualified Individual badge.
  • Incorporate certifications on your about me page on your website.
  • Display certifications on your information product or consulting services landing pages so people know they would be learning from or working with a certified individual.
  • Place certifications in your website sidebar so people can find out you are certified from any page on your website.
  • Include certifications in your author bios, forum profiles, and any other “about me” descriptions.
  • Add certifications to the Certifications section on your LinkedIn profile. Also place them in your profile headline and summary.
  • Put the most important certifications (the ones likely to land you customers or a job) to your Twitter bio.
  • Include certifications in your resume if you are looking for a new job. Search for jobs that ask for people with your certification for best results.
  • Use certifications to join social media groups and forums for certified professionals to grow your professional network.

Effectively, if you are a HubSpot Certified Inbound Marketer, you want the world to know it. People looking for someone to handle their inbound marketing will come to you over others without that certification.

Wrapping It Up

If you want to improve your skills, get listed with other qualified professionals in your industries, and get recognized as an expert, online certification and training programs from well-known sources are your best bet.

There are a range of digital marketing certifications to choose from and they really help you to stand out from the crowd.

65 Responses

  1. 6.23.2015

    Hi Matt,
    Cool list of Professional Courses, definitely gonna check one of these.

    Just curious though, did you took any of these course?


    • June 23rd, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Nope never had any training/education except for the basics science, maths and english

  2. 6.23.2015

    Good list Matt, nice to see some of the big names like Google taking certification seriously, the training niche used to be chock full of sharks.

    • June 23rd, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Used to be?

      • June 23rd, 2015 at 12:08 pm

        I was talking about the really rubbish qualifications that cost about £3k and only took one week of ‘boot camp’ to pass. I spoke to a trainer once who told me he had a tractor driver in his class who didn’t even own a computer. £3k and one week later he had an ‘official’ qualification in IT.

        Fortunately I don’t think things are quite so bad these days. At least I hope not!

        • July 6th, 2015 at 10:32 am

          Wow that sounds pretty bad, I suppose the qualification is only as good as the company issuing it.

  3. Vijay

    How many of these exams are really worth taking? Some of these are laughably expensive. Really annoying are certifications for which you have to keep paying “you will receive your certification, which never expires as long as you maintain your Authority membership.” Nice.

    Certifications should be to showcase one’s knowledge or a product/topic, but some of these companies have turned it into a easy business. This sounds counter intuitive to me – if I were a software product maker (like tableau for example), I’d charge just enough to cover my exam administering expenses a I’d want as many people to learn and take the exam as possible.

    Most of these exams are out of reach for people who are not in the western world earning in dollars. :/

    • July 6th, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      Yes granted some are easier to complete than others which in my opinion devalues them some what, however that’s not the case for a lot of them.

  4. ChrisGaynor

    All very well…

    But some of these are still expensive…

    Have you done any of them?

    • June 23rd, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Nope never had any formal training or education in anything to do with marketing, computers, business or sales.

      • Mick
        June 23rd, 2015 at 12:01 pm

        Where’s the like button? ;-)

      • June 23rd, 2015 at 12:09 pm

        Me neither. Clients never ask, and as long as I can deliver the goods I very much doubt it would even occur to them to ask.

  5. 6.23.2015

    Hahah, that was an awesome tip for the Harvard courses.

    I am tempted to do it. Though I am not sure If i’ll pass the courses lol.

  6. 6.23.2015

    This is probably the best resource I’ve found for marketing certifications. Nice work Matt.

    Will be coming back to this within the next few months :)

    P.S. Just curious, if you had to choose, would you rather display awards on your site (like you have) or certifications? Basically, which do you think would be more effective social proof?

  7. 6.23.2015

    I thought we were nearing April 1st when I first read your latest post. If you’re working in IT then perhaps and MCSE or a Cisco qual would always underpin your experience. However, small business startups that deliver I.T. don’t require qualifications to seek more work. The same principal applies with IM. 99% of internet marketers don’t need additional qualifications to boost profile or attract more customers. Its a very small percentage of large advertisers that may want to see a piece of paper from some u.s. college saying you have passed some test. As you know yourself, hard work, learning from your mistakes and a sprinkling of luck wins the race :)

    • June 24th, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Oh yes I know that, but certification holds a high level of credibility on the corporate world.

  8. 6.23.2015

    Thanks for sharing these credential resources. Sometimes having a credential will help a freelancer that may not have the clips in their resume.

    Another place to look around for great credential options would be a local University and their Extended Studies programs. I received a credential in Grant Writing from mine!

    Another place to look around is free, open-sourced institutions such as Coursera. They offer a digital marketing course as well as a paid credentialing service that is much more in-depth.

    Thanks again for sharing!

  9. Faisal Rehman

    I’ve done all the certifications (listed above) that cost $ ZERO. :D (including, Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Bing and HubSpot) and I can say these are not the courses designed to create a highly skilled user, but help you to get a better job.
    These FREE certifications helped me to get a better job and since I work as a freelancer too, so these certifications make my client feel secure in choosing me.

    • June 24th, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      That’s awesome to hear – glad they paid off for you, I should probably do them right :P

  10. Phil

    This is a great list of potential certification options Matthew which I would never have considered had you not gone to the effort to highlight these.

    This is something I will certainly look into for my business, anything that improves your credibility is certainly a good idea as you have highlighted.

    Keep up the great content

  11. 6.23.2015

    Mathew, I heard you didn’t take any marketing or business course. So where can I read a out how you starred this business.

    Your list is helpful and I know it worthwhile if a person can try it. Thank you so much.

  12. 6.24.2015

    Hi Matt,
    Now that’s like a coolest of blog about marketing certifications. It’s really helpful especially for people like me that aiming to grab few of these.

  13. Dyna Williams

    Nice list!!

    I have been planning to try my hand on Google Analytics Individual Certification since ages!!

    I have been working as SEO since 3 years and using Analytics on daily basis so i think i should clear it, at least on second try if not first.

    What do you think?

    • June 24th, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Why not? To be honest I don’t think I would pass a hard core exam – certainly a lot of people out there that know more than me!

      • Dyna Williams
        June 25th, 2015 at 1:15 am

        Ha Ha.. I am sure you would pass if you attempt one!!

        Thanks for the motivating words. I will surely give it a try in near future :)

  14. 6.24.2015

    These do seem worthwhile however it’s a little pricey in an industry that you can excel in with a portfolio and past results.

  15. 6.25.2015

    Hi Matt,
    Very cool list of marketing Courses.It’s really helpful especially for people like me.
    this certificate is free or paid?

  16. 6.25.2015

    Did you take any of these certifications?

    I personally think that AdWords certification for example doesn’t mean much. I don’t think it can represent your ability to run a successful campaign.

    • June 27th, 2015 at 9:14 am

      Nope or any kind of university. In fact if someone has gone to university to study anything to do with internet marketing, I wouldn’t employee them.

      • July 1st, 2015 at 9:29 am

        Hehe. You and me both. That was funny man, but totally true at the same time. You learn by doing, not by studying. You speak much sense Matthew.

  17. Untemplater

    Very cool list. I tried taking the Google analytics one a year or so ago and got too distracted with work and never finished it. I should reconsider trying it again at some point as I know there’s a ton I could learn from it.

  18. 6.26.2015

    The big question which comes to mind: do you think it’s worth doing these kind of qualifications, bearing in mind you have none and you’re very successful…

    I just wonder if there is a commercial cost benefit number here?

    • June 27th, 2015 at 9:09 am

      It depends, I know very talented people – much more so than me, that for one reason or another want to be employed and will never take that step to pursue their own ventures. So if your the type that will be applying for jobs it helps you stand out from the crowd.

      Equally the smart marketer will know how to stand out from a pile of 500 job applications without any certification/qualification for less than a dollar.

  19. 6.29.2015

    Interesting article and some interesting courses. As you say I would think they are probably of more benefit if you are offering digital marketing services or indeed working for an agency

    • July 6th, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Yes it’s certainly geared towards the agency side of things

  20. 6.30.2015

    I’m pretty sure some of these “certifications” wouldn’t be taken seriously by a lot of people. Then again, maybe I’m in the minority here.

    “I’m certified by!”



    The Bing, Google, Hootsuite and W3 certifications are all great ones to have though.

  21. 7.7.2015

    Very good article for internet marketing.Internet Marketing certifcation is helpful to increase knowledge.

  22. 7.14.2015

    Excellent list Matthew. Pity there are so few decent cert.s for SEO – I am always a bit skeptical when I see SEO companies relying on PPC related certification for credibility – but it is certainly better than nothing.

    • July 14th, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Yeah its not ideal but SEO changes a lot as well

      • July 14th, 2015 at 12:02 pm

        True. I can imagine also how funny it would be getting certified/trained on SEO knowledge that is already 2 years out of date when you get tested – helpful-not!

        • July 15th, 2015 at 10:32 am

          Which is pretty much everyone that goes to university to study internet/digital marketing

  23. 7.15.2015

    Hi Matthew

    What about Great post btw :)

  24. 2.22.2016

    Hey, thanks for the list.

    What about this SEO certification:

    Do you recommend it because it seems to be good and thanks.

  25. Bren

    Hi Matthew

    Great article, thank you. What would you advise about acquiring a US qualification vs a British qualification – in your experience, do you think the training/content differs in different geographies, or that one has more or less credibility than the other?

    • May 11th, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Well the digital marketing world is very much a global market, so I wouldn’t worry about those pesky country’s :)

  26. Paul Marshall

    I think the HubSpot certification is definitely worth considering, as It’s not just about how to use the HubSpot platform, it’s the whole philosophy on inbound marketing, in which you use social media and email marketing, as well as PPC, so it could be a good launch pad and rationale for taking all the other certifications as well.

  27. 9.29.2016

    Thank you For this good article!
    I have requested for Hubspot Certificate ;)

  28. 9.30.2016

    Thanks for sharing,
    But actually i’m looking for some online MBA o Master Degree courses,
    I know some, I would be grateful to let me know :)

    • October 4th, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Everyone I have hired that had a university based digital marketing education, I have sacked because they are useless in the real world.

  29. 10.12.2016

    Goof info about Marketing certifications !!!

    Google have more certitications like:
    -Google Educator Certification
    -Google Tag Manager Certification

    Don’t forget DoubleClick Certifications (9)

    And DoubleClick Studio (7)

    Hootsuite now have two new certifications (2) :
    -Hootsuite Platform Exam Certification (About Hootsuite platform)
    -Hootsuite Social Media (About social media)

    And you can add to the list Woorank certification.

    Finaly I pass my Certifications in

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